WE DID IT! The UK Chancellor has finally announced in the 2023 Autumn Statement that VAT will be removed from period pants – meaning that from next year, ALL period products will be VAT-free.
WHAT IS PERIOD PANTS TAX ?
‘Period Pants Tax' is all the revenue earned from the VAT charge applied to the sale of menstrual underwear which are taxed at 20%. Periods are NOT a luxury, so why should you be charged 20% luxury tax (VAT) on every pair of period pants? The Government removed VAT from some menstrual products like pads, tampons & cups, but period pants are still charged the full 20% VAT rate.
We think this is wrong. Ask your MP to help remove this tax and make sustainable period pants 20% cheaper. Our pledge is to pass the savings on to our customers.
THE STORY SO FAR
We believe that sustainable periods are not a luxury. The Government removed the luxury tax (VAT) from tampons and pads, but they did not include period pants. This unfairly penalises period pants - a sustainable period product option - and we think this is wrong. VAT is a 20% tax placed on items considered a luxury. That's right, period pants are considered a luxury. Sustainable periods are not a luxury. It's time to remove the period pants tax. By removing VAT from tampons and pads only, the Government is indirectly encouraging the purchase of disposable period products. This is irresponsible - our planet is overwhelmed by waste created by humans and we are in the midst of an environmental crisis. We should not be encouraging more waste.
THE JOURNEY TO GETTING PERIOD PANT TAX AXED
NOV 2023 - WE DID IT! Period Pant Tax Is removed - effective from Jan 2024
OCT 2023 - M&S Join Our Case With the #SayPantsToTax Campaign. An Open Letter is written & signed by over 70MP's. 36,000 Signatures reached.
AUG 2023 - 28,000 Signatures and counting
OCT 2022 - 6,055 Signatures
JAN 2021 - 18,161 Signatures & Government response
At 10,000 signatures, The Government responded to our petition saying: “difficulties in policing the scope of the relief create(s) the potential for litigation, erosion of the tax base and a reduction in revenue” * Following our petition, MP Daisy Cooper started an Early Day Motion and invited other MPs to sign, to ensure all period products are considered essential, and eco-friendly options are affordable for all.
OCT 2021 - 2,962 Signatures
AUG 2017 - HMRC Letter
We wrote to HMRC to clarify that period underwear would be classified as a menstrual product and taxed accordingly. This was our first response from the HMRC to say that period underwear would be taxed as regular underwear. The fight for recognition begins!
SOME FACTS ABOUT TAMPONS & PADS
* Tampons, pads and panty liners and their packaging generate more than 200,000 tonnes of waste per year, and they all contain plastic. * Disposable pads contain up to 90% plastic; the equivalent of four plastic bags. * Plastic products can take up to a thousand years to decompose in landfill or in the ocean. * Half of tampon-users in the UK flush tampons away. It has been estimated that 1.5-2 billion disposable period products are flushed down Britain’s toilets each year. * It costs £88 million a year to unblock sewers blocked by menstrual products (combined with fats, oils, grease and food waste) in the UK. * Harsh chemicals such as chlorine and dioxin are still found in mainstream brand pads and tampons. These are damaging for the environment and potentially for people’s health. * Statistics from the Women’s Environmental Network (WEN)